[Update: Zack Snyder's representatives spoke to Hollywood Reporter and refuted the story, stating, "While he is super flattered because he is a huge fan, Zack is not involved in any way with the new Star Wars. He is currently in post on his two films, Man of Steel and 300: Battle of Artemisia."]
”Zack Snyder lied to us. Sort of. Back in November, when every director and their mother was being asked whether they would direct a film in Disney's new Star Wars trilogy, the Man of Steel director said, "I don’t think I’d be interested in [directing it] I’m a huge Star Wars fanatic. I just think doing [episodes] seven, eight and nine is just a slippery slope. It’s a whole other mythological experiment I’m excited to see, but it’s a lot of effort." Well, we should have paid closer attention to his choice of words. Vulture is now reporting that Snyder will in fact direct a Star Wars movie after all. It just won't be an official part of the new trilogy.
Zack Snyder's new film, according to their sources, will most likely be a stand-alone adventure based on Akira Kurosawa's classic film Seven Samurai. That motion picture, upon which practically every action film we see today is at least partially based (the filmmaking techniques and story structure basically birthed the modern action genre as we know it), was about a village of farmers who hire a group of samurai mercenaries - seven, to be exact - to protect them from an army of bandits. Kurosawa's films were a major influence on the original Star Wars trilogy: his 1958 samurai film The Hidden Fortress has a very similar plot and tone to A New Hope, and the title charscter of his 1975 picture Dersu Uzala was the clear precursor to Yoda. Seven Samurai and Hidden Fortress co-star Toshiro Mifune was even originally offered the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi before Sir Alec Guiness took the part.
So Snyder's film at least has historical precedent on its side. Little else is known about the untitled film, but it is expected to take place after the original Star Wars trilogy, with events set parallel to Disney's upcoming trilogy, which is being written by Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt. There's nothing keeping Snyder from setting his film in any other Star Wars era, however. With more Jedi running around in the prequel trilogy than any other, it would make sense to set the story back in the glory days of the Republic too.
While we're not necessarily the biggest Zack Snyder fans on the internet, we're encouraged by the possibility of spin-off movies set within the Star Wars galaxy, which is broad enough to tell almost any story, and allow filmmakers to take some risks with the franchise without impacting other films within Disney's new franchise.
What do you think? Does the possibility of a Zack Snyder Star Wars movie excite you, or do you have a bad feeling about this?